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Fireside (Lakeshore Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For years, hard-living Bo Crutcher has worked diligently toward a New York Yankees pitching spot, but just when it seems likely, he learns that his son AJ needs a home after his mother is detained by the Texas INS as an undocumented alien. Kimberly van Dorn, a hotshot media-relations expert in Los Angeles, is also experiencing a dramatic life change. She has fled her abusive client-boyfriend for the safety of Avalon, New York, and her mother’s ancestral home. Having satisfactorily provided for the adult Bellamy generation in a string of popular novels, including Snowfall at Willow Lake (2008), Wiggs now directs the spotlight onto secondary characters readers have met in previous installments of her small-town contemporary-romance series, the Lakeshore Chronicles, poignantly revealing the catastrophic results of unjust immigration laws, especially on the American-born children of deported parents. --Lynne Welch

Review

"With the ease of a master, Wiggs introduces complicated, flesh-and-blood characters into her idyllic but identifiable small town setting..."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review on The Winter Lodge (Best Books of 2007 selection)

"Susan Wiggs paints the details of human relationships with the finesse of a master."

-Jodi Picoult

"Wiggs's storytelling is heartwarming... clutter free... [for] romance and women's fiction readers of any age."

--Publishers Weekly

"Wiggs's talent is reflected in her thoroughly believable characters as well as the way she recognizes the importance of family by blood or other ties."

--Library Journal

"Susan Wiggs writes with bright assurance, humor and compassion."

--Luanne Rice

"Empathetic protagonists, interesting secondary characters, well-written flashbacks, and delicious recipes add depth to this touching, complex romance..."

--Library Journal on The Winter Lodge

"Emotionally intense."

Booklist on The Winter Lodge

"Wiggs is at the top of her game here, combining a charming setting with subtly shaded characters and more than a touch of humor. This is the kind of book a reader doesn't want to see end but can't help devouring as quickly as possible."

--RT Book Reviews [Top Pick] on Snowfall at Willow Lake

"Rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate.... Delightful and wise, Wiggs's latest shines."

--Publishers Weekly on Dockside

"Wonderfully evoked characters, a spellbinding story line, and insights into the human condition will appeal to every reader."

--Booklist on Summer at Willow Lake --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lakeshore Chronicles
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778326179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778326175
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,766,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Public relations expert Kimberly van Dorn is reeling. Her professional basketball star lover dumped her following a public argument. Soon after that spat, she is fired by her firm. Needing time to recuperate and decide what next, Kim goes home to stay with her widowed mom for a while.

However, mom has converted their house into a boardinghouse; more shocking is she is dating one of her renters. Also residing there is baseball pitcher Bo Crutcher, who is about to reach the majors playing for the Yanks, and his son AJ. The child stays with him since AJ's mom got into serious immigration issues and is probably going to be deported. However, Bo is caught between two conflicting spitballs as he has never met his kid before the dumping while he must attend the Fame School if he wants to play for the Yankees. Bo hires Kim to be his PR guru. Though attracted to one another, he can't get to first base with her as she has vowed to never date professional athletes ever again.

The latest Lakeshore Chronicles (see SNOWFALL AT WILLOW LAKE, DOCKSIDE, THE WINTER LODGE and SUMMER AT WILLOW LAKE) is a fabulous lighthearted romantic romp. Susan Wiggs cleverly combines humor with a strong cast working through a difficult situation as life after striking out Kim has thrown two splitters at Bo just when he is about to join the Yankees.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of the Lakeshore Chronicles and most of everything that Susan Wiggs has ever written. I will buy any book that she writes the second that I see it. She's the best.

But,I must say that this one left me a little disappointed. I did feel that her treatment of illegal immigration was a little one sided but that wasn't my problem with this novel because that was necessary for the context of the plot.

I felt her development of Bo was disappointing. He was this wonderful larger than life man who should've been one of her sexier male characters but at the end he just failed to develop. I think her theme that athletes can be insensitive and boorish restrained her ability to make him seem like a real man. He came across as sweet but not too bright.

And the ending was rushed...maybe she was on deadline for another book?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Do not waste your money on this book, if you are looking for a good romance novel. The romance was a background to a politically correct screed on illegal immigration. The characters were flat and undeveloped. I had to struggle to get to page 150 and I gave up after that.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Susan Wiggs is one of those authors that you can trust to write a book which is an enjoyable read, whatever its subject. In 'Fireside' the main character, Bo Crutcher, is a baseball player. As an Englishwoman I know next to nothing about baseball and wondered if this would put me off the book; no it didn't, partly because the baseball isn't that central a part of the plot, but more because the author knows how to create a story and how to write characters about whom we care.

As the story begins we meet Kim van Dorn who has fled her collapsed relationship and returned to her mum in the small town of Avalon. Kim's life has changed hugely but her skills as a publicist for baseball players might actually come in handy when she meets Bo Crutcher who has just got the big break of his career.

But Bo's career isn't the only thing going on in his life. He has suddenly had to take responsibility for his twelve year old son, a boy he has never previously seen, and as Bo tries to begin to be a father as well as learning to perform for the media, he may have an opportunity to form a relationship with Kim. But with Bo's career and his care for his son at odds, what future is there for them?

This was an enjoyable story with appealing characters, particularly as the relationship between Bo and his son AJ unfolds. The romance side of the story felt subordinate to much of the action but it was well told nonetheless and this is a very worthwhile read for those who like gentle love stories.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read and enjoyed all the previous books in The Lakeshore Chronicles, but this one isn't in the same league. There was zero chemistry between Kim and Bo, and they were both incredibly two dimensional - especially Kim. The book was so NOT that I finally decided to stop wasting my precious time trying to get through it, and I'll tell you there aren't many books that I don't bother to finish. The absolute final straw for me was all the liberal preaching about our horrible and cruel illegal immigration situation. Puh-leeze! You're a romance novelist, Ms. Wiggs, and I'd suggest you stick to that - not sociopolitical commentary. I also would strongly recommend a fact check on some of the outrageous assertions that were made in this book regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants - oh, whoops! I'm supposed to say "undocumented aliens", right? This book made me start searching the customer service section for "Kindle book refunds".
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Format: Kindle Edition
Wiggs writes emotions in a way that allows readers to experience it. The in-depth story takes readers deep into situations that are not only heartbreaking, but also well researched. Wiggs doesn’t make up the details that she puts forth as fact. At the same time, this is an unforgettable work of fiction, combining the best of both worlds. The scenery in the novel was also breathtaking. I love how I was able to picture myself in the Catskills, while also being able to let my imagination run wild, placing myself in the story.

Wiggs’ characters are so detailed and realistic, struggling with the twists life throws at them. I love how we get to follow certain characters through the entire series while also getting to know new ones. Kim & Bo definitely stole my heart in this one. I loved seeing under Bo’s bad boy exterior, getting to know who he really is. Her multifaceted development really lets you experience each and every aspect of who he is. Kim’s journey of self-discovery while helping Bo was priceless. She was the type of woman that I could easily see myself sitting down with for coffee. Enter AJ. His situation broke my heart. At the same time, he was so much fun to get to know.

This might just be the most engaging story of the series yet. Wiggs’ emotionally poignant yet absolutely heart-warming tale is one that I’d recommend to all lovers of romance.
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